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Bishnupur – A Town Known for Its Architectural Majesty
Getting Familiar with the Town
Bishnupur or Visnhupur, is a small town in the Bankura district of West Bengal which is primarily famous for its various temples built in the terracotta style. The town, which is also referred to by the name of   “Town of Temples” is one of the major tourist destinations in the region. The area was under the reign of the Malla dynasty for more than five centuries was major centre for art and music as these art forms were highly patronized by the Malla kings. It is because of the encouragement of the Malla rulers that the Bishnupur Gharana of music is such an important part of the music and cultural teachings in India, even in the modern times. The Malla kings continued to rule the area up to end of the Mughal period, when they started losing their power and eventually conceded to British rule.

Leaning Some Basic Facts about the Temples
Almost all the temples in the city of Bishnupur were constructed during the reign of the Malla dynasty after the 15th century. The temples clearly reflect the fact that the rulers were steady devotees of Lord Shiva and Vaishnavism. Given below are some basic details of a handful of the most famous temples of the city.

The Jorbangla Temple: This famous temple presents a great example of terracotta architecture, which makes it one of the finest monuments of Bishnupur. Dedicated to Kesta Roy, the temple was constructed by King Raghunath Singh Dev II in 1655 AD. The temple is built in the classical Chala style and has beautiful terracotta work on both the inner and outer walls. The temple also has carved scenes of royal lifestyle, epics and battle scenes, etc, on the walls and roof.

The Rasmancha Temple: The Rasmancha is considered to be the oldest brick temple designed in the shape of a pyramidal tower. The temple was constructed by King Bir Himbira in 1600 Ad and was intended to host the deities brought by people during festival time. The most amazing aspect of this temple is its roof which is constructed in the “bangle do-chala” style and has a string of cusped arches which are supported by strong pillars. The roof opens onto a verandah which surrounds the temple on all four sides. The temple presents an earliest example of the use of this style of roofing and has been given the status of a protected monument. The temple is illuminated at night to showcase its unique architecture, which is a sight to behold.

Madan Mohan Temple: Built in the 17th century by King Durjana Singh Dev , the temple presents a great example of Ekaratna style of architecture. This is amongst the oldest temples of Bishnupur and has beautifully decorated terracotta walls depicting the scenes of battle from Kurukshetra and Krishnalila. The temple has a flat roof and curved cornices which are topped by a pinnacle. This is one of the few temples that with the idol of the deity in place, which is still worshipped.    

Things to Buy In Bishnupur

Terracotta Items: Being the hub of terracotta architecture, it is only natural that terracotta items are quite popular among visitors coming to this temple town. Dalmadal road is the best place to buy terracotta items as the artisans in this area display exemplary skills in creating mesmerizing terracotta artwork, including the Bankura Horse, which is a specialty of the region.

Baluchari Sarees: These are amongst the costliest Sarees of India, which are made by the skilled craftsmen of Bishnupur. The Sarees are renowned for depicting various mythological scenes on one end and are available in a wide variety of designs and colors.


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